switch on, activation, assimilation, borg time!


Thursday, yesterday, was activation day for my cochlear implant.

It was all very low key and friendly. Amy was carrying a huge cardboard box when she met us. Once in her room she opened thw box to reveal a very lovely metal briefcase with coloured top and bottom surfaces. Inside the briefcase were several small packages housing bits of the speech processor and coil. Who’da thought it would be so complicated.

Amy the audiologist went through the different part to the CI, how to get the batteries in and out, how to set it up for disposable batteries, how to set it up for rechargeable, how to connect the lead that would go to an MP3 player if I had one, etc etc.

Then once the thing was assembled we tried to clamp it on my head but there wasn’t enough oomph in the magnet, maybe my hair is too thick? So, Amy stuck another magnet inside the coil part and that worked.

Then I and my implant become as one, I was assimilated. Amy connected the speech processor up to the computer and set up the loudest level that was comfortable for me for each channel or frequency on the electrode. The first noises I heard were ok, low frequencies in the range I am used to hearing as the noises became higher it was odd to hear those frequencies. The noises were are series of beeps, which to me sounded like a duck quacking.

I can’t remember the session accurately, the order of things but it was a good place to be. Each channel worked on the electrode. Though in the end Amy switched the highest one off for now as it wasn’t helping the whole hearing process thing.

Amy read through a list of sounds, EEE, SSHHHH, OOOO, SSSS, MMMM, AWWW, asking how each one sounded, and adjusted this and that until I could hear all of the sounds. This is good apparently as it’s not expected that implantees will hear the SSSHHH and the SSSSS at the first session.

With my hearing aid in my left ear and my implant in my right ear it sounds as if I have a radio in my head which echoes the sounds in my left ear, with some added quacks and squawks.

We finished with an audiogram of my right ear, not much change from a couple of weeks ago, except one frequency was around 30dB better, this may be an odd glitch so they will retest in a few weeks.
This was all over in 90 minutes, lunch time so MLM and I headed for a restaurant. You know I could make out what the waitress was saying without too much hassle. Normally I have to ask MLM to repeat everything but this was just fine. Western omelette and home fries with a decaf coffee, and, AND, I hears the waitress say “ketchup” when I wasn’t looking at her. Bloody marvellous. I know it was a guess, but an easier guess than before.
It was chucking it down with rain when we left, so I used my brolly to keep my implanted bonce dry. Damn CI coil stuck to the shaft of the brolly and came off my ear. Also I have a habit of running my hands through my hair which means I keep knocking the implant off. Today I used a hair slide across the wire to hold it in place. I really don’t want to lose this thing. Does anyone have theirs insured??

All in all a successful start. There’s more I could and should write about it, but you know I am really, really drained, and just have no energy to do it.

9 responses »

  1. I so enjoy reading your blog in general, and especially this one! I am so happy for you, and can't wait to know how things progress. Wishing you all the best!
    Daryl in Maine

  2. Hooray, hooray! Ta for letting us know all about assimilation day. So interesting and good to read that you found an immediate benefit which will continue to improve as you learn to hear cyborg style!

    Now stay out of the rain!

  3. Thank you for sharing your progress. Take it easy and rest. I used your name in vain on My Muskoka. Been having fun with this. Keeps me off the streets! 🙂

    P.S> you're right about the glitch. Cosmic joker, methinks.

  4. Congratulations!! I hope you finally got some rest! The first few weeks really are tiring, but it's so worth it! 🙂

  5. Wow, well and truly Ms Cyborg now! Is that ever cool!

    Ketchup! That's great; I bet you'll always have a special place in your heart for that condiment.

    I'm imaging that this must be very tiring like getting use to (or just even wearing) hearing aids?

    Congrats Mog! I'm soooooo very happy for you!

  6. This is wonderful and I'm so happy for you. Yes, it can be very tiring at first!

    I do carry insurance on mine, but do check to see if you have any warranty or one time replacement in your plan. My company gives a 3 year warranty that includes a one time replacement if lost or damaged in any way, so the insurance is not necessary until the 3 years are up. The insurance company that covers CI's is ESCO.

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